December 6, 2023

Little steps helps Navy marketing director reach goal

Perhaps there is truth to the saying: The journey of a thousand steps begins with one…

Tem Frierson saw this when he chatted with a CSU representative about enrolling in the online university. “A conversation with Laurin Lader about the college helped me see the feasibility of actually earning my degree through little steps instead of only seeing the entire journey.”

And what a journey it has been for Frierson, who has served in the Navy for the past 23 years.

Upon enrolling with CSU in January 2007, he decided to pursue an online degree in business. The Navy chief has worked as an aviation anti-submarine warfare operator for 12 years, a counselor/liaison with the Combined Forces Command in Afghanistan for a year, recruiting supervisor for five years and most recently, as marketing/advertising director for the past five years. Frierson chose business because “I like business and the unique opportunities of this career field.”

As he moved through his studies, Frierson said he found it “rewarding as I progressed from the AAS to the BSBA.”

“I appreciate the communication of the staff and the concern of those who became my friends and mentors throughout my journey,” Frierson added. “What an exciting accomplishment to fulfill a goal that at one time seemed out of reach!”

And at times, the journey was a little rough for the 43-year-old who admits he is aggressive when it comes to achieving goals.  “I enjoyed setting my own schedules and timelines, although that cost me in a few extension fees,” he laughed. “But, I knew I was in control of my accomplishments!”

And he accomplished much with what he learned during his CSU education.

“I have had the opportunity to put into practice many of the business lessons that I have learned through my studies,” he explained. “As the marketing director, I built a plan around the foundations that I learned in ‘Strategic Management,’ ‘Business Ethics’ and ‘Business Policy and Strategy.’  The same year I completed my education, I was also selected as the Marketing Director of the Year (nationally).  I feel this is no coincidence.”

The South Carolina native has also been awarded Zone Supervisor of the Year for recruiting for the Navy and is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion and the Navy League. He enjoys golf, hiking and riding his motorcycle.

Frierson has used his recruiting talents to spread the word about CSU and has referred the online university to more than 500 people who later enrolled with CSU. And what advice does he have for a prospective CSU student?

“Your limitations are all within yourself.  Use the staff to assist you in reducing your limitations and to partner with you on your individual journey,” Frierson said. “Talk to you advisors and build a working relationship with them.  The better they know you, and the better you know Columbia Southern, your goals become limitless at CSU.”